Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC
Contact : 336-992-5664
Fair and equal treatment isn’t just the right thing to do… it’s often the law.
Whether you’re hiring for a new position, planning a promotion or letting an employee go, it’s important to be aware of anti-discrimination laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Why? Because if you’re accused of discrimination or harassment, you could potentially face a long and costly legal battle to resolve it.
These laws also protect your employees from any retaliation if they report a situation where they experienced or witnessed discrimination.
As a business owner, it’s important to understand the laws that could lead to a discrimination claim. Need a refresher? Here’s a quick overview of protected classifications at the federal level. (Note: This is not legal advice – for specific guidance pertaining to your business, always consult a licensed lawyer with small business expertise.)
These laws also make it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Remember: Local or state laws might get more specific than these federal laws. Be sure to familiarize yourself with any laws unique to your area, and consult a lawyer for specific legal advice pertaining to your business.
Even if you do everything you can to be proactive and fair in your business, you still could be faced with a lawsuit accusing you of discrimination. Even if the accusations aren’t true, a lawsuit could leave you stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills.
Good news: There’s time to think ahead and protect yourself.
Talk to your local ERIE agent about adding Employment Practices Liability (EPL) coverage* to your business insurance policy. This coverage may help you in the instance someone brings a lawsuit against your business for wrongful acts, such as discrimination.
Watching deer in their natural habitat can be an enjoyable, peaceful experience. But encountering one on a roadway? That’s a different story.
If it’s happened to you… you’re not alone. More than 1.5 million drivers are involved in deer collisions each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, causing nearly $1 billion in vehicle damage. (Learn how auto insurance can help you if you hit a deer.)
We’ve already shared tips on how toavoid hitting a deer if one jumps in front of your car. But what about those common bits of folklore that everyone seems to have heard about deer collisions? Is there any truth to those?
Below are six common myths you may have heard… along with some facts to back them up.
Deer-vehicle collisions are covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance, which is an optional coverage you can choose to add on. (Learn more about understanding your auto policy.) An insurance professional like a local Erie Insurance agent can help you customize an auto insurance package that fits your needs and budget.
Life insurance, by its very nature, is deeply personal. It transforms the vulnerable into the secure.
It can also leave you wondering – how does that all work, anyway?
Keep reading for answers to a few curious questions you’ve probably wondered about life insurance… but were too afraid to ask.
A: In many cases, yes – but expect to answer some questions and (probably) pay a little extra to account for the additional risk.
Before giving you a quote, your local insurance agent may ask you to fill out a written questionnaire to understand more about your hobby. At ERIE, that includes hobbies such as:
The questionnaire will ask you some basic information to understand your hobby. This could include:
It’s important to be honest when filling out your questionnaire. If you fudge the details in an attempt to seem less risky… that could be grounds for denying a claim later on. Your completed questionnaire is sent to the life insurance underwriter, who determines the scope of the risk – and ultimately helps calculate the rate you’ll pay.
For example: Let’s say you’re into rock climbing. Does that mean you climb indoors with friends once in a while at the local gym? Or are you planning a trip to the Himalayas to go ice climbing alone? Similarly, if you have a private pilot license – are you taking occasional short trips for business? Or are you regularly stunt flying in air shows on the weekends?
You get the idea… it’s all about calculating that risk.
A: First things first: Good for you!
As for your life insurance: Generally speaking, yes – you can ask your local agent to get your existing policy re-rated. Before you do, though, you’ll likely have to show some stability in those lifestyle changes for a year or two to prove that you’re in this for the long haul.
What happens next may differ, depending on the circumstances. (Your agent can explain the specifics as they pertain to you.)
If you quit smoking because you’re just ready to live a healthier lifestyle – great! With no complications, you could get bumped from the “smoker “to the “nonsmoker” rate classification (and likely save some money in the process).
But, if you quit for a medical reason – such as a diagnosis of COPD or lung cancer – that’s a health concern that could impact the cost savings you’d otherwise see from quitting smoking. Your agent will ask you to fill out a questionnaire to get the specifics on why and how you quit.
Similar to the smoking example above, expect some follow-up questions about your weight loss. For example: “How and why did you lose the weight?” There are risks that come with weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass or lap band surgeries. Similarly, if you dropped a bunch of weight without even trying to… that could be the sign of a worrisome chronic illness or depression. If you start or stop taking certain medications because of your weight loss, that could also affect your rate.
If your weight loss is the product of good ol’ fashioned discipline, diet and exercise: Once you show you can keep it off (and provide any necessary test results and information), you could get bumped to a more favorable rate class.
Remember, insurance rates are all about data and probability. When it comes to weight loss, most carriers will add at least 50% of the weight back when they calculate your new rate. Why? Statistically speaking, if you drop a bunch of weight, studies show you’re likely to gain at least some of it back.
Ask your ERIE agent about re-rating your policy if or when your circumstances change.
Have a weird or embarrassing insurance question? Don’t be shy: Our local agents are licensed professionals – they’re not here to judge.
Read about ERIE’s life insurance offerings or check out these related blog posts:
There are many choices you need to make when it comes to choosing the right auto insurance. When it comes to customizing your policy, one of the biggest decisions is what deductible amount you will choose.
WHAT IS A DEDUCTIBLE IN AUTO INSURANCE?
Your deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay toward fixing or repairing your car before your insurance kicks in. Deductibles typically only apply to collision and comprehensive coverage. (There may be other cases where you could have a deductible – for example, uninsured motorist property damage – so ask your agent about all coverages with deductibles.)
Here’s an example scenario: Let’s say you’re involved in an accident and the repair estimate from the auto repair shop is $2,000. If you have a $500 deductible, you will be responsible for paying $500 and then your insurance will take care of the remaining $1,500.
Most people choose a deductible between $100 and $1,000, although they could possibly be as low as $0 or as high as $10,000, depending on the coverage and applicable state laws. Your agent can help explain your options so you can pick an amount that’s comfortable for you.
DOES ERIE INSURANCE OFFER A DIMINISHING DEDUCTIBLE?
Yep, we have that! Read more about how the Erie Auto Plus* endorsement can help with a diminishing deductible (and a lot more) for about $30 more per year.
DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO PAY MY DEDUCTIBLE AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
If you’re deemed at fault for an accident, you typically pay the deductible under your own policy. If another person damages your vehicle and they are deemed at fault, their insurance would typically pay for your damage in its entirety. In that case, you wouldn’t be responsible for paying the deductible under your own policy.
HOW DOES YOUR DEDUCTIBLE AFFECT YOUR PREMIUM?
Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premium (which is just a fancy word for price). The lower your deductible, the more you will typically pay for your insurance premium.
Not sure what to pick? No worries – your ERIE agent is here to help.
Your agent can offer you multiple quotes with different deductibles. They can also explain how changing your deductible can affect your annual premium – or show you the cost savings between different options over multiple years. Ultimately, they want you to fully understand your options and feel confident about your decision.
Let’s take a look at the basics.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE
It’s all about your budget – and your comfort level with risk. Here are some things to consider about deductibles when you talk with your agent:
One final tip: Whatever deductible you choose, it’s smart to have that amount of cash on hand in your emergency fund. That way you’re financially prepared if you end up having to file a claim.
If you own a car, chances are you’ve let a friend or family member borrow it at least once.
After all, there are plenty of reasons to hand over the keys. Maybe you needed a relative to pick up your kids from school. Or you’re helping someone get to work after their car broke down.
But did you know that in the event of an accident… it’s your auto insurance policy that typically would have to pay?
“By far, the number one misconception about loaning out your vehicle is that if you let your neighbor borrow your car, an accident should go on his insurance because he was the one driving,” said Dave Freeman, vice president and regional underwriting officer at Erie Insurance. “But in private passenger auto insurance, the coverage typically follows the vehicle, not the driver.”
Let’s break it down.
If you’re an ERIE customer, insured drivers include:
Finally: If someone else is regularly driving your car, it’s important to let your agent know.
Chances are, anyone you let borrow your car will fall into one of these three categories. But just because someone is covered doesn’t mean loaning your car is risk-free.
Here’s the good news: If the driver falls into one of the three categories above, and the loss is covered under the terms of your policy, your insurance can help pay for the damage – even if you weren’t the one driving.
But here’s the tricky part: Depending on the situation – and the specifics of your policy – you might get stuck paying a surcharge on your auto insurance premium for an at-fault accident, even if you weren’t the one driving at the time. (Every policy is different, so ask your ERIE agent if this applies to you.)
According to Freeman, most people don’t think about these ‘what if’ scenarios before lending their car.
“When you loan someone your car, you’re putting your name out there as a responsible party,” he explains. “You’ll be protected within the limits of your auto policy, but there’s always a chance of something happening that exceeds them.”
For instance, if your neighbor runs a stop sign and causes significant injuries and property damage, you could be responsible for paying any amounts owed above the limits on your policy. That means you could be sued for your neighbor’s negligent actions because they were using your vehicle. Liability in these situations varies by state, so check with your ERIE agent if you have specific questions.
And then, there’s the question of what actually constitutes “permissive use.” For example, maybe your daughter goes off to college and lets her friend borrow a car that’s in your name – but you, as the named insured, didn’t give permission. Is her accident covered? The answer could vary based on case law in each state.
If you do have to file a claim, rest easy. Your ERIE agent can help you understand the ins and outs of your policy, and our award-winning claims service gives you prompt and personal attention to get back to normal.
“At ERIE we look for a reason to pay a claim, not a reason to turn one down,” said Freeman. “We want to find a way to pay your claim if the coverage is available. After all, that’s why you bought a policy.”
So here’s the moral of the story: Always make sure you understand your liability before loaning out a vehicle.